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    Bangkok: 10 things to taste

    Who I am
    Judit Llordés
    @juditllordés
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Eating in Bangkok can be a unique experience, an experience that becomes part of the journey to Asia, here are the 10 typical dishes to try.

    Bangkok it has always been a starting point for me, a base in which to stop for a maximum of three days, to rest and then leave to discover another country in Southeast Asia.
    This is why I have visited it several times and discovered it slowly, re-evaluating it from travel to travel.
    What is certain is that I have tried above all to taste the local cuisine and to give a face to all those smells that stun you, for better or for worse, just outside the airport and that always make me think: “Asia, I'm back to you!”.



    Tasting everything, given the quantity of food and the variations skilfully mixed by combining different flavors, is impossible! The following is a personal ranking but I think I can say that it is street food in a city like Bangkok is the quintessence of a 360 ° culinary experience.



    You will find stalls everywhere, at any time of day or night, from breakfast around the city in the morning, to dinner in the night markets.
    You only need two things: curiosity and courage. As for the prices, everything is really cheap! You are ready?

    Som Tam Malako

    That is the Papaya Salad: you will be able to admire the great skill and dexterity of the cooks who will crush papaya with garlic, sugar, chili, green beans, cherry tomatoes, shrimps and voila in a mortar! You will have your own salad with expertly mixed flavors. They add a fish-based sauce to the various ingredients. I asked the seller to show it to me and in the end I also bought it, but I confess: I've never used it. This with shrimp is the variant I tasted, but you can also find it with fermented fish or with crab. It is one of the most popular dishes in the country and is usually served with glutinous rice.

    Fried rice

    The classic rice sauteed in the wok with soy sauce, vegetables, eggs and the variations we like most, from fish to chicken. I consider it a bit of a passe-partout plate to approach their flavors gradually. If you want plain white rice, try glutinous rice: it is a quality of rice that grows in this part of the world and when cooked it becomes particularly sticky. Let's say that by itself it is a bit sad, but if you make balls with it to dip in one of their many sauces, it will give you the impression of making the national "shoe".


    pad Thai

    We could talk about noodles for hours. We find them in all the countries of Southeast Asia with a thousand variations, shapes and sizes and are the basis of this national dish. Rice noodles topped with cashews, a squeeze of lime, and your choice of beef, shrimp or chicken. Once you have decided on your ingredients from the colorful bowls that you will have in front of you, you will often have to make another choice: soup or dry? In soup or sautéed?


    Noodles soup

    When I travel and my stomach feels overwhelmed, I often take refuge in soups. I just have to be lucky enough to choose the right one! As for the dry variant, even for soups you can indulge yourself: first of all the restaurant manager will let you choose which type of noodles you prefer: the flat and wide ones based on rice (sen yai), those type vermicelli with the typical wavy mii), the almost transparent white ones (wun sen), the rice ones but thinner (sen lek) and the egg based ones (baa mii). He will then make you choose the broth, whether it is based on red meat or chicken, spicy or not and what kind of meat you want to find in the soup, if chicken, beef etc.

    Tod Mun Pla

    Or Fish cake: fabulous fried fish balls, lime, curry and spices. One leads to another and if they weren't so spicy I would always eat them.


    Oyster Omelet

    Even better is the Oyster Omelet, oyster omelette, called in Thai Hoy Tod: usually served on bean sprouts and very crunchy, its flavor is particular. But if oysters don't appeal to you, eat some simple (but good) Pla Pao, grilled fish. This too, like fried rice, does not reserve great surprises for our palate, but if we are tired of spicy it is a "life-saving" dish! It is seasoned only with salt and lemongrass. Tasty.

    Pad Kra Pao Gai

    Meat lovers will go in jujube broth for Pad Kra Pao Gai, a chicken dish cut into small pieces and flavored with basil Thai which, compared to ours, is reminiscent of lemon. Everything is then sautéed in the wok and usually served in a large plate and accompanied by a mound of glutinous rice and a fried egg on the side. Definitely abundant, I don't think you will be able to taste much more afterwards. Knowing how to use chopsticks is essential.


    You will often find on the tables glasses with the ingredients to adjust the dish according to your palate: usually it is sugar, rice vinegar with chili and naam pla, the fish sauce that lies in my refrigerator. Try it all, risking different combinations!

    Fruit

    If you are in the city in one of its hottest times, nothing will make you happier than seeing the fresh fruit carts. Green light therefore to tropical fruit of all shapes and colors; bananas, coconut, papaya, mango, pineapple and lychee. One of my favorites is the dragon fruit: red or yellow outside, inside it is white and has small black seeds. It is sweet and soft. To try!
    In Thailand they use it a lot to make desserts and you will also find it as a thirst-quenching drink in a can. Here you can taste it in Chinese restaurants.

    Often you will find the fruit cut into pieces like fruit salad or as a kind of skewer, but I recommend that you have it peeled and cut on the spot. You can also quench your thirst with one of the excellent smoothies and / or centrifuged that they offer you (one of all the mango) or walk drinking, through a straw, the "coconut milk" directly from an entire coconut perforated on the top!

    Grilled mini bananas

    Perfect for breakfast or as an energy snack, you can choose whether to eat them plain or dipped in a kind of very sweet and amber colored molasses. Delicious even if you are traveling with children to make them taste something different but not so far from the flavors we are used to.

    On a gastronomic journey for streets of Bangkok, observing the gestures of the sellers is one of the most fascinating things: shredding, flavoring, passing from a container to a sizzling pan with extreme naturalness. A dance of which they are unwitting protagonists.
    Where to watch the show? In the whole city.

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